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Unlike Europe or Canada, coalition loyalty programs have traditionally been overlooked by most major brands in the United States. That is, however, until now.
A number of leading brands including American Express, Macy’s, Rite Aid, AT&T, ExxonMobil, Nationwide, Hulu, and Direct Energy have just announced an extraordinary new coalition loyalty program, which will let consumers quickly collect reward across numerous brands. Plenti is the first loyalty program of its kind to ever feature such a significant list of widely known top brands in the U.S.
US Loyalty, a division of American Express, will operate Plenti, but customers can participate in the program using any payment method they desire. US Loyalty will also handle all marketing campaigns, distribute the rewards, and oversee the collection and security of data.
Abeer Bhatia, CEO of US Loyalty at American Express, articulated his genuine excitement at being a part of this significant loyalty program.
“We’re pleased to introduce the first U.S.-based coalition loyalty program, where consumers will have the flexibility and choice across seven well-known brands to earn and use points for purchasing a wide range of products,” Bhatia said.
Successful coalition loyalty programs can cultivate powerful motivators for shoppers to increase customer engagement. Without having to tediously and slowly earn points from a single brand, customers can rapidly collect rewards by shopping at many different retailers. Consumers are allowed greater choice to shop where they want and the points add up fast. Brands can benefit too by participating in cross-promotional activities that can provide increased opportunities to engage with entirely new customer subsets.
Coalition loyalty programs have historically stalled in the U.S., but new research suggests that attitudes here are changing dramatically. Almost three-fourths (72%) of Americans say they would like access to a loyalty program that offers rewards for shopping at multiple stores instead of just one.
“This is a perfect time for a coalition loyalty program in the U.S., as online marketing becomes more efficient and American consumers become more accustomed to rewards programs, special offers and discounts,” said Ed Gilligan, president at American Express.
Over 1 billion people currently enjoy coalition loyalty programs globally, so Plenti’s partners are all hopeful that one may finally take root in the U.S.
“Consumers today are busy and smart. They know good value, and they want to be rewarded for the dollars they spend day-in and day-out at their favorite stores,” said Macy’s CMO Martine Reardon. “Macy’s is excited to be a part of breaking new ground for American consumers with a program that is focused on rewarding them frequently and with greater cumulative value."
Plenti will allow consumers to earn a single set of points by making purchases at any of the network’s participating retailers. For every 1,000 Plenti points earned, consumers will be rewarded with at least a $10 discount. Additionally, special cross-promotional offers between participating brands and various online offers will also Plenti members to earn extra points.
Plenti will debut later this spring and there are already plans to expand the network by adding additional participating brands soon.
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